The Valders boys basketball team has not been to the WIAA state tournament since 1984 — a streak longer than any Vikings on this year's squad have been alive.
"That means a lot, I mean, especially if we can go down there and win a state championship, the first for the school," said Vikings senior Kyle Tuma. "I don't even know what I'd do. It'd be so nice for the whole team."
Valders (23-3) advances to Madison after upsetting Xavier 59-57, putting an end to the Hawks' 53-game winning streak. The win over Xavier was even sweeter, as the Vikings fell to the Hawks in sectional finals two of the last three years.
"It was huge, because you battle and you battle against them and you come up short, and you know it was great to get some revenge on them," said coach Trevor Schwoerer. "We've been at that point for three of the last four years, and we finally could defeat them and punch our ticket to Madison."
After one of the biggest upsets in high school hoops this season, Valders received the top seed in Division 3. The Vikings meet fourth-seeded Kettle Moraine Lutheran (22-5) Thursday at 1:35 p.m. at the Kohl Center in Madison.
"Obviously it's cool to get the one seed down there, but we've got to stay focused on Kettle Moraine Lutheran because they're an awfully good team," Schwoerer said.
"It was nice (to get the top seed). We didn't really get much respect throughout the season," said Tuma. "But it's still four teams that are all really good teams, so one, two, three, it doesn't really matter what seed you get. You still gotta finish the deal."